Ambushin' Ain't Easy

Reporting on Politics and Policy.
Sept. 6 2012 9:21 AM

Ambushin' Ain't Easy

CHARLOTTE -- So, you're at the Democratic Convention. You've got a film crew. You've got politicians who have to walk in public occasionally. You can nail those politicians.

Or you can try, fail, and upload the video anyway. The DNC has spawned a curious genre of TMZ-style ambush videos that hit the wall immediately, because 1) politicians are better at blowing people off than celebrities are, and 2) many cable news figures can hide behind communications teams and refuse to talk to anyone if the interview isn't cleared. To wit, this attempt at browbeating Rep. John Lewis:

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And this attempt to shame Daily Show reporters out of mocking Republicans.

The embed code doesn't seem to work, but the Daily Caller does get Van Jones to say he's being "taped against his will." Which is something. The most effective upsetting of the Democrats' themes, like I've been saying, has been achieved by conservative reporters doing the not-very-ambush-y work of... reading party platforms and listening to politicians lie.

David Weigel is a Slate political reporter.